Is it possible that we are already talking about the graduating class of 2013? It seems like just the other day when Kobe Bryant took Brandy Norwood to his high school prom in 1996!
There’s no stopping time so we figured it was about time to put the Class of 2013 under the microscope and begin identifying the best players in its class. However, before we get into specifics, understand that our mission is to merely identify the elite guys and begin tracking and writing chapters in their development.
If you want “in depth rankings” of the Class of 2013, this isn’t the place for you. I can tell you that no other company or service sees as many players each year as we do and there’s simply no way we are prepared to get in-depth with players this young. In the long run, setting expectations too high can be detrimental and unfair. All we are trying to do is identify the guys who are ready to be followed on a national basis and begin the process with them.
We have, however, found a handful of prospects that not only have made their marks early but have some of the physical, mental and natural talent to maintain their place in this class. Experience tells us that the five guys we’re about to reveal likely won’t finish in this order or maybe even in this class but its time to learn more about them.
Julius Randle, a power forward, owned the Nike Hoop Jamboree. He’s wired up to compete and has an appetite for getting better. His emotional and mental makeup is a bit like that of a young Harrison Barnes. For now, he’s our No. 1 prospect in this class.
Not far behind is Kuran Iverson. When we first saw him in May it didn’t take long to admire his natural perimeter gifts and ridiculous ceiling. Again, at the Hoop Jamboree, he put distance between himself and others. He’ll be a significant small forward prospect.
Raleigh’s cranked out some good players in recent times. Anyone ever heard of John Wall? Well, Rodney Purvis isn’t Wall and it’s not fair to compare at this stage. However, he is an elite prospect who has done it in his age group and beyond. Purvis is so talented that we aren’t even sure what position he’ll play. Will he morph into Dajuan Wagner as a scorer or someone else at the point? Time will tell but for now, he’s No. 3 in this class.
We had no idea of Chris Thomas and his abilities until we observed him at the Hoop Jamboree. Frankly, he looked like a much older, more polished wing than his peers. We had to double-check the roster and when we discovered he was 2013 it was a jaw dropping moment.
Finally, and there were other candidates for his spot, we slotted Jabari Parker at No. 5. The son of famed Sonny Parker (Texas A&M, NBA), Jabari is a developing power forward with a diverse game. He’s got the resources and drive to improve and while his body changes, he’s already shown to have an aptitude for the game beyond his years.
You can see our Top 5 here.
In terms of star ratings, we’ve handed them out sparingly. As the summer evolves, we’ll adjust accordingly. We’ve got a few 5 star guys, a handful of fours and a couple dozen three star players. Again, our goal is to have players earn more stars. Kids this young should be striving to reach goals and hit markers. As they improve and distinguish themselves, we’ll add to their tally. Stars don’t mean the same for rising sophs as they do seniors and it’s a point we’d like to convey early in the process.